Children rarely like eating vegetables unless you force them to do so. Vegetables have lots of vitamins, traces of protein, and minerals that are crucial for healthy growth and development.
If your child seems not to like eating vegetables, here are some reliable tips you can use to help them eat more vegetables:
Your child will not like eating vegetables if he/she does not see you eating vegetables. As such, you need to ensure that you eat more vegetables with them to show them the importance of eating vegetables. It is recommended that you should eat vegetables at least once every day.
There are lots of vegetable species and types that you can include in your diet. From leafy vegetables to non-leafy ones, there are hundreds of choices for you to eat together with other foods or as appetizers. When your child watches you eat vegetables, their interest in eating veggies will develop.
Teach him/her benefits of eating more vegetables
There are a lot of things that children do not know and most probably, your child is not familiar with the advantages and health benefits of eating vegetables. Therefore, take it upon yourself to teach him/her why they need to eat. Children are curious about a lot of things and most likely, their reluctance to eat vegetables may be due to lack of knowledge on veggies.
When teaching your child, it is important that you use simple and easily understandable language. This is because children’s comprehension and understanding are not as high as that of adults. Teach them the reasons for taking common types of vegetables such as kale, broccoli, romanesco, and butternut squash.
Children do not readily accept eating new foods right away. According to research studies, a child may consume a particular food for as long as 20 times before he/she determines whether they like the food. Therefore, it is important to keep insisting that the child eats vegetables until a point when the child likes vegetables.
You should constantly offer the child a considerable portion of veggies while serving other foods so that he/she becomes gradually accustomed to eating more vegetables. While doing this, you can motivate him/her to eat as much vegetables as he can. With time, he/she is bound to get interested in eating vegetables and you won’t have to force them anymore.
Being positive and encouraging to your child while he/she is getting used to eating vegetables will motivate him/her. This will, in turn, make it easy for the child to make healthy dietary choices. This works perfectly if you are distracting the child from indulging in unhealthy food choices like junk food and sweet foods.
A parent’s positivity and encouraging attitude go a long way in sparking interest in children. Consequently, your supportiveness will impact the child positively and will definitely make the child eat more vegetables.
Make food fun
Children are keen on having fun at all times. As such, when making them eat more vegetables, it is important to make it a fun and lively experience. This is because some types of vegetables like broccoli may be quite intimidating to children and therefore, the child may not feel interested in eating them. For instance, you can make broccoli or kale appear like miniature trees. Relating vegetables to games and other forms of fun will encourage the child to take more vegetables.
Reward good eating behavior
Being a parent requires you to be attentive and commend any improvement or change of behavior. In line with this, you should reward your child if he/she shows improvement in eating vegetables. Research studies have revealed that rewarding children boosts their morale and they are therefore likely to eat more vegetables. The main aim of motivating the child to increase their intake of vegetables is that they are able to consume the recommended quantity of vegetables on a daily basis.
Offer different vegetables
It is worth noting that vegetables contain different types of nutrients and as such, you should offer different vegetables to your child. Avoid giving the child one type of vegetables alone as this does not constitute a balanced supply of nutrients in the body. While it is likely that they will prefer one type of vegetable to the other, you still need to change your choice of vegetables from time to time.
Some children require detailed supervision and consistent monitoring than others as far as eating more vegetables is concerned. In addition to this, there are some that are going to be choosy and picky when eating vegetables. Whichever the case, you need to ensure that you have an efficient and pleasant way of making your child eat as much vegetables as possible.
This is a guest post by Danny. A young dad and a blogger who loves writing about parenting topics over at his blog MyParentingJournal.com.